Skepticism, Unilateralism or Ultimatumism?: Trump Administration's Trade Policy and the Korea–U.S. FTA

Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 421-462, September 2017

42 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017

See all articles by Jaemin Lee

Jaemin Lee

Seoul National University - College of Law

Date Written: September 29, 2017

Abstract

The existing framework of the global trading regime is now being shaken with the inauguration of the Trump Administration. Trump Administration’s trade policy has evolved from skepticism to unilateralism and now to “ultimatumism”. Under the Trump Administration, existing skepticism and unilateralism have been further pushed to the point where a minimum level benefit or a minimum quantum of interest is set by the United States (hereinafter “U.S.”) and then presented to a trading partner for a guarantee. As a virtual ultimatum is given with the possibility of termination of the trade agreement at issue unless the U.S. demand is accommodated, this new stance can be called “ultimatumism”. Circumstances surrounding the Korea–U.S. Free Trade Agreement (hereinafter “FTA”) offer a viable example showing this trend of the Trump Administration’s trade policy. Trump Administration trade policy, coupled with the prelude leading to the policy, arguably underscore the importance of maintaining and strengthening multilateralism for the global trading regime.

Keywords: Protectionism, Non-Tariff Barrier, Unilateralism, Bilateralism, Multilateralism, Free Trade Agreements

Suggested Citation

Lee, Jaemin, Skepticism, Unilateralism or Ultimatumism?: Trump Administration's Trade Policy and the Korea–U.S. FTA (September 29, 2017). Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 421-462, September 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045781

Jaemin Lee (Contact Author)

Seoul National University - College of Law ( email )

San 56-1 Kwanak-gu, Shilim-dong
Seoul, 151-742
Korea

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